Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ruggabellus Sallio

Stephen Pannell is sometimes described as a winemaking genius. However, I find his approach quite straightforward - nothing genial about it. By contrast the label might fit Abel Gibson, the young winemaker of Ruggabellus. He started out by crafting four red wines, all different proportions of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre. He used whole bunches and other interesting techniques to good effect, all this out of a small garage. His father Rob Gibson, who introduced the famous grape grading system for Penfolds, was not always pleased with his son's ideas.

Gibson has now turned to white, or shall I say orange wines. I am reviewing here he 2016 Ruggabellus Sallio.
The Sallio is a blend of Semillon, Riesling and Muscat. The grapes have spent time on skins, some a few days, some weeks. The colour of the wine is a fairly ugly orange/brown. However, this is a much more interesting wine than the orange wine from COS, which I reviewed recently.

The dominant flavours are citrus and orange peel, obviously driven by the skin contact. There is also ginger. The mouthfeel is big and chalky. The finish is slightly bitter. This clearly is an interesting and different wine.

I am rating it well for its personality, but the overwhelming taste of dried fruit and peel is not to my liking.

Score: 92/0

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